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Who’s Headed to This Summer’s Major Music Festivals?

2 minute read | April 2016

The summer music festival season kicked-off with the start of Coachella, and this summer’s series of events is set to be bigger than ever.

American’s awareness of music festivals as a whole has increased over the past few years, with Coachella and the iHeartRadio Music Festival seeing the most growth. Some 36% of the general U.S. population has now heard of Coachella, up from 22% in 2013.

Lollapalooza is the most well-known music festival overall, with 52% of the general populace having heard of the event. Bonnaroo also has high awareness, with 21% of Americans having heard of it.

The musical lineup is the top consideration for festival fans when deciding on which events to attend. However, price and proximity are also significant priorities. In fact, many festivals attract primarily regional crowds; for example, Coachella—held in California—largely attracts attendees from the Western parts of the U.S.

So who is attending these major summer festivals? Nielsen’s Audience Insights Report on festival fans shows that it’s a large, young, diverse and music-loving group that also enjoys a good party.

Nearly half (45%) of music festival fans are Millennials. And given the fact that this generation is the most multicultural of any previous generation, it’s not surprising that attendees are 51% more likely to be Hispanic and 11% more likely to be Asian compared to total music listeners. Festival fans are also live music fans: 82% have attended at least one live music event in a typical year, compared with just 53% of music listeners in general.

Festival fans age 21 and older are strong consumers of almost every type of alcohol than the average music listener. For example, they’re 38% more likely to drink craft beer than the average music listener. Beyond beer, vodka, tequila, and rum are the hard liquors of choice among festival fans, and domestic options are the most common wine selections.

Fans aren’t just partying at music festivals; they’re also sharing their experiences on their digital devices with friends. Approximately half of festival fans share photos and/or text friends while at the concerts—so fans who can’t attend and suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) can be part of the experience too.

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